Thor has been a fan-favorite character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever since Chris Hemsworth first appeared as the God of Thunder in his 2011 solo film, but after he started really embracing his comedic side in Thor: Ragnarok, the fan craze over Thor only got stronger. He was behind some of the funniest moments of both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, and still managed to remain one of the strongest members of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
It's hard to believe that there's anything viewers don't know about Thor at this point, because he's starred in three solo films and all four Avengers crossover epics. Dedicated comic book fans, however, know that the MCU has only just touched on the mighty Asgardian's rich history. Since he was first introduced in 1962's Journey into Mystery #83, Thor has accomplished an incredibly long list of amazing feats, suffered some traumatic losses, worked with nearly every superhero Marvel has to offer, and taken down a variety of powerful foes.
Endgame concluded with Thor giving his crown to Valkyrie and joining the Guardians of the Galaxy in an attempt to find his true purpose in life, so fans likely won't have to say goodbye to Chris Hemsworth's beloved character just yet. Instead of waiting for the MCU to give us another dose of the Thunder God, fans should bolster their Thor knowledge with some surprising developments and details about him from the past 57 years of comics. Here are 20 Wild Details Only True Fans Know About Thor.
20 THOR IS TECHNICALLY A TITLE, NOT A NAME
For the first several decades of his existence in the comics, everyone referred to the God of Thunder as Thor because they assumed that was his name. When he became unworthy of his hammer Mjolnir in 2017, however, he started to go by "Odinson" instead and the name of Thor was given to Jane Foster, the hammer's new wielder.
Mjolnir's inscription reads"whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor." Apparently, this means that whoever can wield Mjolnir also gets the title of "Thor." The MCU didn't really explain this, but technically, when Cap used the hammer to fight Thanos in Endgame, he became a second Thor.
19 THOR CAN'T ACTUALLY FLY
When listing off the long list of Thor's superhuman special abilities, many Marvel fans include flight as one of his godly gifts. It's easy to understand why so many people make this common mistake, since Thor can often be seen taken fights to the skies and can travel from place to place in a matter of seconds. Unfortunately, that's just Mjolnir's doing, not Thor's.
When he needs to "fly," Thor throws his hammer into the sky and hangs on to the strap. Mjolnir then drags him to his desired destination in a manner that simply looks like he's flying. When Thor wants to hover in mid-air, he spins the hammer around like a helicopter propeller so he can stay suspended above the ground.
18 HIS HAMMER WAS ONCE WIELDED BY SUPERMAN
Only those who are truly worthy can lift Thor's mighty hammer Mjolnir. MCU fans learned in Avengers: Endgame that Captain America is on the short list of heroes who can wield the iconic hammer, and back in a 2003 Justice League and Avengers crossover event, Superman was added to that list.
In a final battle against the event's ultimate villain Krona, Superman used Captain America's shield and Mjolnir to save the universe. Odin lifted the enchantment he'd placed on the weapon so the Man of Steel could deal a fatal blow to his near-omnipotent adversary, but the hammer stopped working for him shortly after because he wasn't actually worthy and didn't have the heart of a warrior.
17 THOR AND HULK ARE EVENLY MATCHED IN STRENGTH
In Thor: Ragnarok, the God of Thunder tried using the voice command "strongest Avenger" to gain control over the Quinjet, because he assumed Tony Stark considered him to be the most powerful member of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Viewers laughed when Bruce Banner later accessed the ship's controls minutes later and its AI referred to Banner as the "strongest Avenger."
MCU fans have argued over which of the two Avengers is stronger for years, and when trailers revealed they'd face off against each other in Ragnarok, everyone thought the mystery would finally be solved. The Hulk was declared the winner, but Thor likely would have defeated the giant green monster if the Grandmaster hadn't sabotaged the fight. This technical draw is actually comic book-accurate, as when the two characters first fought in the 1973 Avengers-Defenders War, they were entirely unable to best each other.
16 THOR IS ALMOST THE SAME AGE AS SPIDER-MAN
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Peter Parker is just a teenager while Thor is an Asgardian god who has seemingly been alive for thousands of years. Believe it or not, the two iconic Marvel heroes were actually born a mere month apart from each other.
Thor's first appearance in the comics came in Journey into Mystery #83, which released on August 1, 1962. Spider-Man first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15, which hit shelves on August 10, 1962. So while they're separated by several millennia in age, their birthdays are technically only nine days apart. What a historic month for Marvel Comics, and what an epic accomplishment by Stan Lee, who co-created both characters.
15 HIS IMMORTALITY COMES FROM MAGICAL APPLES
The gods of Asgard are believed by many to be completely immortal, but that's not necessarily the case. Thor is definitely difficult to take down, but it's not impossible to exterminate him. His ability to live longer than humans and stay youthful and healthy actually comes from magical apples which grow in his home kingdom, and if he goes too long without eating them, he can age and be taken out just like everyone else.
According to Norse mythology, the gods of Asgard are granted near-immortality by eating the Golden Apples of Idunn which exclusively grow in Asgard. In the comics, Thor returns to Asgard periodically for some of those apples.
14 THOR WAS ONCE TRANSFORMED INTO A FROG
In Thor: Ragnarok, the God of Thunder briefly recalls a memory from his childhood in which Loki used magic to turn him into a frog. Comic fans loved this fun Easter egg, because it referenced an unforgettable 1986 The Mighty Thor four-issue arc where Loki turned his brother into a tiny green amphibian. Popular Thor writer Walter Simonson penned the iconic story, in which the frog Thor ended up in Central Park leading a clan of frogs into battle against a horde of rats.
Before Thor returned to Asgard to reclaim his identity, he left a shard of Mjolnir behind for his frog friend Puddlegulp, helping him become a pint-sized warrior known as Throg. Years later, Throg joined Marvel's Pet Avengers team.
13 FRIGGA ISN'T HIS REAL MOTHER
The Marvel Cinematic Universe makes it seem like Frigga is Thor's birth mother, and while Thor was originally made to believe that in the comics as well, he eventually learned that Odin lied to him about his true mother's identity. He is actually the child of Odin and the feminine personification of Earth, known as Gaea.
Gaea mated with Odin just so they could create a son that was powerful on both Asgard and Earth, and since Gaea had no further interest in Odin, the Asgardian king simply told his son that Frigga was his mother. His genetic connection with Earth was likely a contributing factor in Thor's focus on protecting Midgard over the years.
12 THE FIRST TWO THOR FILMS USED 30 DIFFERENT HAMMERS
Mjolnir was forged in the heart of perishing star, so it's one of a kind and exceptionally powerful. It wasn't quite as unique on the set of the first two Thor solo films, though!
According to production notes for Thor: The Dark World, the God of Thunder's first two solo adventures reportedly used thirty different hammers as Mjolnir, with each being made of different materials and weights. The main hammer Chris Hemsworth wielded was made from aluminum, but there was also a soft version used for stunts and another hammer which emitted light whenever the mighty Asgardian summoned lightning. So there were enough hammers for all of the Avengers to wield one, not just Thor and Steve Rogers! Assuming they were worthy, of course.
11 IRON MAN USED HIS HAIR TO CREATE A CLONE
During Marvel's Civil War over the Superhero Registration Act, Tony Stark decided that his side of the conflict needed more firepower and used some strands of Thor's hair to create a clone of the thunder god. Tony named the clone Ragnarok, and ordered him to fight against a group of rebellious heroes who refused to give up their secret identities to the government.
Ragnarok proved himself to be nearly as powerful as the original, but he didn't have Thor's self-restraint or mastery over his abilities. After he accidentally ended the life of the anti-registration hero known as Goliath, Stark realized he was too much of a liability. He quickly deactivated and dismantled Ragnarok, and the clone was never seen again.
10 THOR ONCE DESTROYED A PLANET WITH A SINGLE PUNCH
In Thor: Blood & Thunder, the mighty hero came down with a bad case of Warrior's Madness and started creating mass chaos throughout the universe. His friends Lady Sif and Beta Ray Bill found him on a distant world and tried talking some sense into him, but Thor simply slapped Sif aside and entered into battle with Bill, whose strength had been on par with his own in the past.
In his maddened state, Thor proved to be far more powerful than normal. At the climax of their fight, Thor pinned Bill down beneath him and punched him with so much force that it completely destroyed the planet they both were standing on. People who argue over whether Thor or Hulk is truly the strongest Avenger should definitely keep that storyline in mind.
9 MJOLNIR HAS A VARIETY OF POWERS NOT SHOWN IN THE MCU
When Thanos managed to eliminate half of all existence across the universe with a mere snap of his fingers in Avengers: Infinity War, fans immediately realized that the Infinity Gauntlet is the most powerful weapon in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. Mjolnir pales in comparison to a completed Gauntlet, but it is actually far more powerful than the MCU has depicted it thus far.
We've seen the live-action Mjolnir allow its wielder to soar through the skies and summon lightning, but in the comics (depending on the writer), it can also bring people back to life, slay vampires, and help its owner teleport.
8 THOR HAS TWO SUPER-POWERED PET GOATS
Thor can just throw and take Mjolnir for a ride whenever he wants to fly, but the mighty hammer isn't his only means of transportation. On occasion in both the comics and Norse mythology, he travels on a chariot which is pulled by his magical, flying pet goats.
In the mythology, these goats are named Tanngrisnir and Tanngynjostr, but Marvel renamed them Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder. They're great pets, but Thor doesn't really treat them too kindly. Whenever he needs a meal, he roasts and eats them, and then just resurrects them the following day with no memory of his cruelty. It's not overly surprising that the MCU chose to keep this piece of Thor history out of their films!
7 THOR CAN PUSH THE TOWER OF PISA WITH ONE FINGER
In Journey Into Mystery #94, Loki tricked his brother into throwing Mjolnir at what he believed was a dragon, and distracted him long enough that the hammer hit Thor in the head upon its return. This bump changed Thor's personality and temporarily caused him to align with his villainous former rival.
Thor and Loki then created all sorts of mischief together on Earth, and at one point, Thor actually managed to push over the Leaning Tower of Pisa with just one finger. Since that tower is 14,500 tons and Thor accomplished the feat with zero effort, he's clearly a lot more powerful than most fans—and even most Marvel writers—realize.
6 HE BRIEFLY KNOCKED OUT THE PHOENIX FORCE
Another one of Thor's imposing feats of strength came at the start of Marvel's AvX event, when several of Earth's most powerful heroes traveled to space to try to fend off the all-powerful Phoenix Force. The cosmic entity fought off Thor, Beast, War Machine, Ms. Marvel and several others with ease, and Thor became one of the last men standing.
Not even Tony Stark's massive Phoenixbuster armor was enough to eliminate the godlike creature, so in one last act of desperation, Thor threw Mjolnir at the Phoenix Force with all of his strength. The blow was so powerful that it briefly knocked out the giant fiery creature, something no one else had been capable of doing.
5 MJOLNIR WASN'T HIS FIRST MAGICAL WEAPON
The Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Thor wielded Mjolnir up until Hela destroyed it in Thor: Ragnarok, and he helped create his powerful Stormbreaker axe in Avengers: Infinity War. In the comics, he actually started out with another, similarly formidable weapon.
Thor did, in fact, wield with Mjolnir in his first comic book appearance, but during Jason Aaron’s run about his heroic origins in Thor: God Of Thunder, readers learned that before Odin deemed him worthy of using Mjolnir, Thor wielded Jarnbjorn, a giant indestructible axe with the power to deflect energy blasts and cut through nearly everything. The weapon was powerful enough to help Thor take down X-Men villain Apocalypse, but he foolishly lost it to Kang the Conqueror for several years.
4 THOR ACTUALLY PASSED MEDICAL SCHOOL
The films make it seem like Thor is all brawn and no brains, but in the comics, the God of Thunder is actually incredibly intelligent. When Odin decided it was time for his son to learn some humility, he sent Thor to Earth in the mortal guise of crippled young medical student Donald Blake and stripped him of his memory of his true identity. As Blake, Thor then went through all of medical school and became a successful physician.
After leaving medical school, Blake opened his own private practice in New York, where he earned a reputation as a great surgeon. Thor didn't put his medical expertise to much use after he regained his memory and returned to his life as an Asgardian god, but this proves that he's far more intelligent than some fans realize.
3 LOKI ISN'T HIS ONLY DANGEROUS BROTHER
When Thor discovered that Gaea was his true birth mother, he also learned that he had a half-brother named Atum, who can be every bit as significant a threat as his lifelong rival Loki. Atum occasionally becomes Demogorge, a god-eater who is capable of eliminating immortals by consuming them and gaining their powers.
Luckily for Thor, Atum is a fairly peaceful being in his normal state and only resorts to his eating frenzy when provoked or in need of a meal. So there isn't quite as much brotherly drama between Atum and Thor as there is between the mighty Asgardian and the God of Trickery.
2 THOR BRIEFLY WORKED FOR HYDRA
The villainous organization HYDRA was founded on a belief that humanity can not be trusted with its own freedom, and must be subjugated for its own good. In the recent Secret Empire comic book crossover event, Thor actually worked for HYDRA and helped them take over the world.
When the Red Skull used the power of the Cosmic Cube to convince Steve Rogers that he was a lifelong HYDRA sleeper agent, Captain America became the HYDRA Supreme Leader and he recruited Thor to join his new, evil Avengers team. Thor desperately wanted to become worthy of wielding his hammer Mjolnir again, and Steve used that to manipulate him into joining his side against the God of Thunder's better judgment.
1 ANOTHER HEMSWORTH WAS ALMOST THOR
It's hard to imagine another actor being as perfect for the role of Thor Odinson as Chris Hemsworth has been over the past eight years, but the Aussie superstar wasn't Marvel's clear pick to play the God of Thunder. The role very nearly went to someone who looks and sounds startlingly similar to Chris—his younger brother, Liam.
Both Liam and Chris auditioned for Thor director Kenneth Branagh, and while Chris didn't immediately hear back from Branagh, his brother moved on to do a screen test for the movie along with a few other actors.
Chris' Cabin in the Woods producer Joss Whedon thankfully made a call to Marvel and Branagh to suggest they take another look at him, and he clearly made a better impression the second time around.